Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

  Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated 23 March 2006 which Sub-Committee C considered at its meeting on 30 March. The Sub-Committee agreed to clear the document from scrutiny.

  We note that questions remain over the financing of this extended Joint Action. We accordingly ask that you provide us with a detailed financial breakdown as soon as this becomes available.

30 March 2006

Letter from Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  On Friday 15 September, the General Affairs and External Relations Council agreed Conclusions indicating that the EU would be prepared to take a leading role in co-ordinating international security sector reform (SSR) efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC. An ESDP SSR mission would build on the work of the two current missions, EUSEC RD Congo and EUPOL Kinshasa, which are both nearing the end of their mandate. The work of these missions has been successful, but their mandates were narrowly targeted on getting the country through the election period, and focused on individual sectors within the security sector. The view amongst EU partners is that a future mission should assist the Congolese authorities with a co-ordinated approach to the security sector as a whole, rather than concentrating on army reform and the police force in Kinshasa.

  Ultimate decisions on how to reform the Congolese security sector can only be taken by a new, democratically mandated government in the DRC. Given the current political climate, it is unlikely that this will take place before the New Year at the very earliest. Current discussions in Brussels and Kinshasa are focussed on the shape of possible future ESDP involvement, rather than on designing programmes and taking decisions. I will ensure that you are alerted to any firm plans for an ESDP mission at the earliest opportunity.

18 September 2006

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